An Eagle’s Ego

Video reminds me how rare this "common sight" once was, not so long ago

To the eagle, I doubt it was anything more than the perfect overlook to keep tabs on the mass of mouth-watering murres lined up in smorgasbord fashion on the rocks below.

To the crow, it clearly was nothing less than too much to bear, having a hungry predator perch so near its nest, hidden carefully among the branches below.

To me it was … well, less than it should have been, at first … but now, looking back, so much more than most might imagine watching the video alone.

For chastened as I am to admit it now, when I first witnessed this short spectacle in real time last year, I really didn’t think much of it — it was, after all, “just” a crow and an eagle engaged in what many might consider pretty typical, mildly interesting, little-bird-vs-big-bird behavior. I dutifully filmed it — then quickly forgot it — and thus was surprised, several seasons later, to re-discover it while combing through my video archives looking for something else.

“Thank Goodness for Video!” should be my official mantra, as video so often presents me with the second chances I sometimes need to register proper first impressions, when Mother Nature graces me with simple gifts like this.

In seeing this sight anew again (if this isn’t an oxymoron?), it occurred to me to recall that I never (thanks to DDT) ever saw an eagle in the wild until I was in my thirties. I recalled that even here on the coast, sightings like this were highly notable for their rarity during my first decade living here, as eagle populations slowly struggled to recover. Given such history, one mightn’t imagine that someone like me would need a reminder that, once upon a time not so long ago, I would have been over-the-moon ecstatic to see an eagle like this. And while the crow might bristle to receive second billing in this story, its crazily courageous — and ultimately victorious! — exhibition of nest defense was a happy bonus indeed.

So to me … well … Thank Goodness for Video! May my camera ever help me never to forget again, how fortunate I am to live as I do, and see what I see, here on Nature’s Coast.


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